The latest statistics reveal that a lot of us struggle with weight. In fact, over 40% of American adults fall into the category of obese.
Though most people strive to lose weight so they’ll look great in that new pair of jeans, health is the best reason for weight loss. Added pounds come with added health risks such as coronary heart disease and increased cancer risks.
Sometimes it’s the last few stubborn pounds with their attendant love handles that make us crazy. If that’s the case for you, keep reading for how to get rid of love handles.
What Are Love Handles?
They’re called love handles but most people don’t love their own. They’re also “muffin top.” Love handles are belly fat around the sides of the torso.
It’s the excess fat that bulges over your tight waistband making your clothes uncomfortable. Losing your love handles isn’t easy but there are ways to burn fat.
Why is losing your love handles hard? Because you can’t lose weight in a specific area of your body. You lose weight, but your body determines which part of the body loses fat, and everyone’s body is different.
Even though you can’t lose weight in a certain spot, you can target the area with exercises. You can also work on better nutrition so you’ll lose fat throughout your body.
If your love handles are stubborn, try these seven things.
1. Aerobic Activity
Most people sit too many hours during the day. Sitting all day isn’t healthy and is even harmful.
Do you sit at a computer for work all day? Get up and move around every half-hour. Take at least 250 steps before sitting back down.
There are so many different types of fitness trackers, you can find one that works for your budget. The trackers remind you when to get up and take some steps. They’ll also count your steps for you.
Cardio training is even more important. It increases your fitness level while burning fat and calories. Jogging is a great aerobic activity.
If you don’t like jogging, try jump roping, rebounding, or brisk walking. One NASA study showed that jumping on a small trampoline (rebounding) was even better than running.
Whatever exercise you choose, get your heart rate going and your body sweating!
2. Strength Training
Lifting weights isn’t only for bodybuilders. Strength training helps maintain bone density and muscle strength as you age.
Aerobic activity usually burns more calories, but resistance and strength training builds the lean muscle you need for burning more calories while at rest. Building muscle is how you burn body fat faster.
Mixing a few days of aerobic activity with a couple of days of strength training is ideal for weight and body fat loss. You don’t even need a gym membership.
Order a few sets of dumbbells for the house and you’re good to go.
3. Work Your Obliques
Your stomach isn’t only one muscle. It’s a set of muscles that work together. These muscles are the obliques.
You know that guy with the amazing six-pack stomach? He’s got great obliques!
Strong obliques do more than make you look good. They also stabilize your back and help you breathe.
Pushups and cross-body mountain climber exercises are perfect for working the obliques.
4. Learn to Love Planks
Speaking of obliques, the more planks you do the better. Front planks, side planks, and elbow planks are all great for working the abdominal muscles and whittling away the love handles.
5. Ultrasound Cavitation
Have you ever heard of an ultrasonic cavitation machine? These machines use ultrasound technology for eliminating body fat.
Unlike losing weight and exercising, the cavitation machine can target a specific spot. Cavitation machines are non-invasive, working from outside your skin. The cavitation machine is a good alternative to liposuction.
Use the cavitation machine when you’re within 15 pounds of your goal weight if you’re in good health and don’t smoke.
6. Focus on Nutrition
Good nutrition is one of the best ways of losing those pesky love handles. It’s also one of the hardest for most people.
Instead of depriving yourself, try adding in healthy foods as a way of crowding out the less nutritious fare. Eat more protein such as eggs, beans, lentils, and fish. Fatty fish such as salmon is a great alternative to red meat.
Include more fiber in your meals such as vegetables and fruits. You can also eat grains such as barley and quinoa. Carbs get a bad rap but not all carbs are bad.
Complex carbs found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are good for your body. They also fill you up so you won’t feel hungry all the time.
Eat healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep false hunger pangs at bay.
Beware of calories from sugar. Sugar is something most people eat and drink too much of. Cut back on sugary drinks and refined carbs.
Turn off the computer and the TV when you’re eating so you can listen to your body’s satiety signals. Eat slowly and mindfully.
7. Sleep More and Stress Less
Sleep plays a role in weight loss. Sleep deprivation makes you more prone to bad food choices when you’re awake.
People with sleep deprivation also eat more calories than those who get enough sleep. The hormone that makes you feel hungry is also more active when you’re not getting enough sleep.
Aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night. Everyone’s body is different, so if you feel tired after seven hours, aim for eight.
How to Get Rid of Love Handles
Now you know how to get rid of love handles! There’s no quick fix for ridding yourself of those love handles, but you can do it.
Embrace aerobic activity such as walking at least five days a week. Add in strength training like lifting weights or body-weight exercises. Work your obliques and do regular planks.
When you’re getting near your goal, try ultrasound cavitation for an extra push, and always focus on good nutrition.
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